The Best Way To Deploy Applications in The Cloud

Whether or not you create an application entirely on your own or use the help of professional developers like DevTeam.Space to do it, you may decide that you want to deploy the application onto your cloud platform without the help of anyone else.

In my view, this has the important benefit of letting you get to know your application and how it operates in a more thorough way. Any manager in the world will tell you that the environment you understand better gives you a higher chance of succeeding in it. I believe that by spending the time to setup an application yourself, you will be more equipped to successfully manage and oversee its success.

Can anyone deploy an application to the cloud?

As the saying goes, it’s easy when you know how, and though this might not be 100% true when it comes to something as complicated as the cloud, knowing what steps you need to take to deploy your application onto the cloud, really does make a world of difference.

Whether or not you decide to deploy your application yourself really depends on your level of knowledge, research and of course the compatibility and complexity of your application. Generally speaking, application deployment is relatively simple these days but you should always take care to make sure that you remain within the realms of your technical abilities.

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A little background.

If you want accurate no nonsense and up to date information on the cloud then one of my personal favorite sites is the Cloud Foundry Documentation blog. This blog is crammed full of up to date well researched and informative content that really helps people to keep abreast of the latest news and innovations, while also offering step by step guides to best help you overcome our cloud related problems.

In a recent article, the Cloud Foundry Documentation blog detailed how best to go about deploying an application to the cloud using their in-house application/cloud interface software. I have to be honest and say that even for experienced cloud developers like myself, getting a new application up and running without experiencing at least a few problems is pretty rare. If your app has complex database requirements, for example, which are required to interface with hybrid cloud solutions, then chances are that there are almost certainly going to be a lot of problems that you have to sort out.

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Where to start

To help you take the best steps to avoid many of the pitfalls that developers face when deploying their applications to the cloud, I am going to give you a few helpful tips to get you pointed in the right direction.

1. Choose your platform

Before you begin, you will need to find yourself a cloud provider whose features best suit your needs.

With IaaS, Saas, and Paas platforms to choose from, there are plenty of choices so far as application hosting goes. Generally, application hosting is the domain of Saas and PaaS cloud platforms. Also, if you are looking to host a small application, I recommend reading a bit more about hosting providers.

Why PaaS for application deployment?

In an excellent article, Richard Seroter explains why PaaS is the preferred platform for many software developers. Since he argues that they (PaaS platforms) “don’t interface directly with infrastructure (e.g. servers, networks, load balancers) but rather, focus on building and deployment applications through a set of exposed services in a managed fabric”, PaaS, he goes on to say, “simplifies the deployment and management of modern web applications while making those applications more resilient and functional”.

2. Deploying your application

Before you begin, you will need to make sure that your application is cloud ready and that your cloud provider supports all aspects of your app’s functions and databases etc.

Once your application is ready to go live, you can either choose to use your cloud provider’s interface or engage the services of specialist host interfaces such as Cloud Foundry or CenturyLink.

I personally recommend using dedicated interfaces such as these as they will not only make the process much easier at very little extra cost, but also because they offer full-time specialist support should you have problems. If you do have a really specialist application to deploy then I definitely recommend the CenturyLink PaaS Cloud platform as it offers one of the most flexible and robust solutions out there.

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3. Want to make life easier? Utilize those IDE’s

Cloud IDEs exist to make application deployment and cross platform/data integration easier for developers. IDE’s are normally made up of a source code editor, build automation tools and a vital debugging program. How well they work really depends on the IDE and the complexity of your application. Modern IDEs have a feature called intelligent code completion, which makes app deployment much easier than it used to be. Take extra time to make sure that you choose the best IDE’s for your application as this will save you a great deal of time and money in the long term.

4. Always be flexible; be prepared to reevaluate your cloud needs at any time.

This might sound like an obvious bit of advice, so much so, in fact that it hardly ever get mentioned, but you would be surprised how many application developers doggedly stick with a solution that is clearly not working very well. The cloud universe is based on the idea of flexibility, so remember to always try to be flexible yourself if you want to succeed. This can be anything from changing IDE’s to switching providers, platforms and anything you need to make sure you get your application working properly.

My final thought

Whether you are a first-time application developer or an experienced professional, information is power. For this reason, you should always make sure that no matter if you are trying to pick the best cloud platform or are trying to integrate hybrid cloud data solutions across multiple platforms, that you do your research.

I personally favor small scale cloud deployment platforms that have been specifically setup for this purpose. Not only will the interface be more likely to suit your application and all its requirements, but should you have problems and need help, their customer support is generally impeccable. Out of experience, I can personally recommend the Cloud Foundry platform, which I have found to be a solid application deployment interface that really is hard to beat.